EPR Architects has once again scooped the AJ100 Client’s Choice award. The practice has now won the gong 3 times in the last 4 years, reclaiming the top spot from last year’s winner HTA Design.
EPR emerged as the runaway winner after the AJ polled construction clients and asked them to name both a practice with whom they would like to work again, and one they had not yet worked with but would like to.
The architect beat 6 other shortlisted practices, which included 3D Reid, Allies and Morrison and Assael Architecture. EPR is ranked 16th in the AJ100.
Earlier this year I photographed the new London offices of a leading US Investment firm for them.
EPR’s design has successfully reimagined and reinvigorated the office space, creating a high quality, open plan modern working environment with ample features for their staff and visitors.
The reception area has been redefined as a welcoming area that is more akin to being an art gallery than the reception of an investment firm. One wall is clad in cherry wood panels and the others in subdued fabric panels to compliment the incredible Anthony Gormley sculpture and Rebecca Gouldson wall art.
The front of house guest area also includes various meeting options including the boardroom, housing a custom made Ceasarstone table along with Wilkhahn Solo leather conference chairs.
Between the client meeting area and the back of house working environment is a communal kitchen, dining, and informal meeting space. A bespoke oak bench emerges from the timber floor and continues up the wall before forming a ceiling feature as a contrast to the character of the work environment. Above the table is an Ultra 8 by Le Deun feature pendant light.
The open plan working environment offers staff a variety of spaces where they can work effectively, including dedicated desks to meeting rooms of different sizes and comfortable breakout spaces. This is furnished with Knoll Tone Sit Stand workstations throughout with Herman Miller Aeron task chairs.
Attention to detail was central to the design which replaced the heavily repetitive panel ceiling system for a bespoke ceiling solution to each cellular office, integrating a black framed ventilation grill to clearly define the two open plan offices. Within the front of house areas, the ventilation grill is replaced with a black aluminium channel and lighting which connects the spaces and directs guests to the refurbished meeting rooms. This lighting by Kreon highlights key features such as the flamed textured granite wall in the lift lobby, the cherry wood wall in the reception gallery, and the artwork.
Like photography, design is about beauty and content or form and function. All too often photographers and designers seem to be working hard to produce material that is baying for your attention. Sometimes all that is required is a passion for quality, and a high standard of finish showcasing what you are about. EPR Architects have balanced this perfectly.
Following the announcement of Project Natick’s Phase 2 results on Monday, the “wild experiment” has seen increased attention as influencers continue to recognise the research is “less crazy than it sounds.” Called a “bizarre idea”, ”wild and creative”, and even “Davy Jones’s data-centre”, the effort has driven articles around the world, spanning a variety of audience types including top press, tech forums, business platforms, policy focused communities, sustainable media and channel press.
The photography and film have also featured on the Microsoft website –
and performed strongly on their blog, YouTube channel, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn feeds.
Across all audiences the reliability of the underwater solution was a key point and overall, articles highlighted the project’s overall success and “promising findings” while illustrating Microsoft as an innovator with a customer-led focus. The “high-quality imagery” was noted as a contributing factor to the success of the coverage. Steve Clayton’s (Chief story teller at Microsoft) Friday report commented that “There are a ton of lessons we’ve learned from this experiment that will improve the sustainability of datacentres on land and underwater in the future. I share the story for two reasons beyond the tech though – the first is, it’s just beautifully told story that embraces the power of visuals to draw you in. The second is to celebrate the audacity of the idea”.
Not every assignment has me photographing a research project that is developing a revolutionary approach to an ever-increasing requirement with a sustainably responsible solution. Not every assignment is on the coast in a beautiful part of the world. Not every assignment has me working alongside extremely talented and creative individuals (and teams), that are appreciative of myself.
Microsoft Project Natick was all the above and more. We were working out at sea, on the dock side and in an energy park, on the Orkney Islands and mainland Scotland.
Microsoft assigned Photobanks to capture the retrieval of the underwater datacentre and data analysis with stills photography, drone, and film. Do not get me wrong this was not all plain sailing. Logistically we were at the mercy of the weather, there were major travelling and working challenges to overcome with the current pandemic, and technically this was extremely difficult to capture; flying a drone from a boat out at sea, photographing inside the vessel with a portable flash system and filming interviews on the key side in between ferry horns, seagulls and fishermen.
However, despite all these niggles, I returned to the Airbnb every evening throughout the shoot thinking … I love my job.
To read about the project and see the photos, film and drone pictures –
In times like these it is beneficial to be diverse and adaptable. If you look at my website then you will see reportage, travel photography and portraits for magazines; annual report stock photography, portraits and commercial photography for corporate clients; architecture and interiors for designers; and humanitarian and campaign photography for charitable organisations. I really enjoy the range of work.
I do not think this dilutes my focus, in fact I believe that it is a strength for the people I work with, and for my position in the professional world of photography. I apply the same enthusiasm of seeking to capture the best photos possible for every assignment. This seems to have worked so far, receiving international awards in all sectors of my work.
It means I can supply clients with every aspect of photography. So, as well as photographing interiors and architecture, I can also photograph the designers behind the projects. Here are some of the creatives that I have photographed alongside photographing the architect’s projects.